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Reviving hope in an underwater Hispanic-Latino community

Misión Nueva Vida restores more than homes in New Jersey mobile home park

by Veronica Ditko | Presbytery of the Palisades

Guillermo Lopez-Acosta CRE (left), Sam Weddington (second from right) and volunteers work to hoist up a trailer in the Metropolitan Mobile Home Park, Moonachie, NJ. (Photo provided)

ROCHELLE PARK, New Jersey – The recovery from Superstorm Sandy has been slow for some in New Jersey, especially the underprivileged. Misión Nueva Vida has worked since 2015 to help those in the Metropolitan Mobile Home Park (Metropark) in Moonachie, where flood waters continue to damage homes of mostly Hispanic-Latino immigrant families, and a lack of money is rampant. Three trailers have been fixed and raised, and a fourth will soon be completed.

The mission is largely supported by the First Presbyterian Church of Moonachie, with help from First Presbyterian Church of Hackensack and First Presbyterian Church of Ridgefield Park, the Presbytery of the Palisades’ Latino Ministries, as well as grants.

“It’s challenging to see how these families struggle to separate time out of their daily jobs to repair their homes,” said mission leader Guillermo López-Acosta. “They work two or three underpaid jobs to meet their basic needs.”

The many volunteers who helped in the Metropolitan Mobile Home Park, Moonachie, NJ in September 2016. (Photo provided)

Mission volunteers are gaining an understanding of the community’s challenges and hectic schedules. “This is more than a social or fixing endeavor,” added López-Acosta. “It is reviving in them the hope that there are still people out there who care for them. That is what Jesus taught us to do.”

Nueva Vida holds Bible studies Thursday evenings on the second floor of the Metropark’s community recreation room, now called “The Upper Room.” The first session is for children and youth with prayer, snacks and games; the latter session is for adults who often work late. Many of the families are Catholic or Pentecostal. However, López-Acosta says their faith in Jesus is what binds them together.

“The seeds for a NWC [1001 New Worshiping Community] are planted,” said López-Acosta. “Growth is slow, but with good fertilizer of much love and patience, we hope a strong plant will bloom soon for the glory of God.”

Blessed are the meek: for they will inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5)

Spanish Translation

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